Thursday, 25 June 2015


The Heritage Group staged a VE Day commemoration on May 9, with a display of World War Two pictures and artefacts.
People brought in their own memorabilia and Rex Cadman lent us some guns. 
We served spam and cheese and carrot sandwiches and cakes made to 1940 recipes, served by 'catering staff' in authentic 1940s outfits (right).
Activities for children were also provided.


The Heritage Group created a very successful World War One commemoration,  involving large numbers of the village community and raising money for the Royal British Legion.
Ash Village hall was opened in 1912 and in August 1914 , immediately on the outbreak of war, it was offered as a VAD Hospital. It was partly funded and largely staffed by volunteers from the village.
Ash Heritage Group re-created the VAD Hospital in the hall exactly as it was, using 100 year old photographs and at least one authentic old hospital bed, borrowed from Quex Park. A heritage member  made, in meticulous detail, a nurse’s uniform and a wounded soldier’s ‘blue suit’ (below right). These were worn by members in the re-creation to great effect. 
The accompanying exhibition drew on material held by the group, research already done by David Ross and David Downes; plus material lent by descendants of the 59 men of Ash and Westmarsh who died in World War One, as well as  those who survived.
The hall was decorated with Jubilee red , white and blue bunting and poppy loops made by Cartwright and Kelsey school at Ash. On Friday the exhibition was opened to the two primary schools in the village and shown to over 200 children who enjoyed taking part in a dramatic introduction and being bandaged.   On Saturday it was open to the public.
The Saturday evening performance of readings, poems and songs of World War One followed the progress of the war, as it told the stories of the village in the war and stories of the Ash men who fought in it.
The script drew heavily on the original parish magazines of the period, and was enhanced by powerpoint projections behind the readers and a spirited rendering of the Last Post.
The exhibition ended after the Sunday ceremony around the War Memorial, when everyone came back to the hall for refreshments.
The Heritage Group has worked closely with many members and individuals. At least seven village organisations have played a part in the commemoration. The group would like to thank everyone for making this a community event. Last but not least we thank the Heritage Lottery for funding us.